At 90 years young, Tony Bennett is living “The Good Life.”
“I’m still wide awake!” the iconic crooner says in the new issue of PEOPLE. “My doctor likes to kick me out of his office and say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with you — don’t bother me!’ I’m very fortunate.”
Indeed, Bennett had a lot to celebrate on Sept. 16, when A-listers from Lady Gaga and Alec Baldwin to Bruce Willis and Stevie Wonder gathered at Radio City Music Hall in New York to honor him. The evening of music and comedy will be available to enjoy on Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, when the two-hour special Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 airs. (The American treasure rang in the milestone birthday on Aug. 3.)
The Grammy winner has been performing for more than 70 years and looks back fondly on his career in showbiz — and pursuing his dreams in New York City.
- For more on Tony Bennett and his two-hour NBC special, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
“I had a wonderful time growing up in Queens and dreaming about coming to the big city to make it,” Bennett says. “It all happened [in 1962] with my song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
And the musician and painter, of course, still hasn’t given up his passion for the arts. For the past two years, he has even taken home the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammy.
“I think being my age, and staying in top shape, is a first. Usually people are still respected if they show up at 90, but they say, ‘He’s not like he used to be”‘and all that. And it’s not happening with me,” Bennett says. “I still have a lot of energy when I hit the stage, and I feel blessed about the fact that I’m still going strong. We were always sold-out wherever we played throughout my whole career, and it’s a blessing to still have that happen at 90.”